The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday afternoon on whether Speaker Kevin McCarthy would remain speaker, after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced a motion “declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant” on the House floor, Monday. (Update: House votes to oust McCarthy 216 to 210. McCarthy announced Tuesday night that he won’t seek to reclaim his post as House speaker. ).
Gaetz told reporters Monday night that McCarthy not only violated the agreement he made with a group of Republican holdouts in January, “he accelerated the instances of breach.” The congressman said he didn’t feel intimidated by fellow Republicans who object to his stance. “I feel the judgement of history,” he declared.
I feel the weight of that. I worry that when the history books are written about this country going down, that my name is going to be on the Board of Directors here, and if this country’s going down and we’re losing the dollar, I am going down fighting. down fighting.
“If this country is going down…, I’m going down fighting”
— Gunther Eagleman™ (@GuntherEagleman) October 3, 2023
Gaetz went on to say that if the Democrats want McCarthy, they can have him.
Gaetz just brought it:
"One thing I'm at peace with is when we stand here a week from now, I won't own Kevin McCarthy anymore. He won't belong to me. If the Democrats want to adopt him, they can adopt him." pic.twitter.com/SByQaRJLnf https://t.co/ezUiv9VfcG
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) October 2, 2023
Tuesday morning, Gaetz accused McCarthy of “working for the Democrats the whole time” on the debt limit and continuing resolution (CR), as well as protecting Joe Biden’s wayward son Hunter.
“You’re blocking the subpoena to Hunter Biden,” the Florida congressman wrote on X.
Gaetz discussed his frustrations with McCarthy over the Biden impeachment inquiry in an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” last week.
“If Kevin McCarthy was actually serious about pursuing the Bidens, he would have sent Hunter Biden a subpoena by now,” he said.
Earlier in September, Gaetz wrote on X: “@SpeakerMcCarthy, after eight months of inaction, I have taken the liberty of drafting a subpoena to Hunter Biden. It simply requires your date and signature. Millions of Americans are wondering if you’re serious.”
After meeting with the Republican conference Tuesday morning, McCarthy told reporters that he was confident he would prevail. However, only five Republicans need to join all of the Democrats in voting against him for McCarthy to be removed.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R- Tenn.) announced on Tuesday that he will vote with Gaetz.
My statement on my intention to vote for the motion to vacate. pic.twitter.com/4vrlp2XUra
— Rep. Tim Burchett (@RepTimBurchett) October 3, 2023
My decision on Motion to Vacate and how I came to it. pic.twitter.com/kePHTSHUlw
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) October 3, 2023
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who ran for Speaker last November, also announced that he would vote yes on the motion to vacate because of McCarthy’s failure to “rein in federal spending.”
Last November, I ran for House Speaker because I feared that Kevin McCarthy would not rein in federal spending and take on Democrats.
As seen by his latest CR, these fears are now reality.
He cannot remain Speaker.https://t.co/lyImFCOHgI
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) October 2, 2023
Congressman Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) hinted on X that he was open to voting with Gaetz to remove McCarthy.
🚨 Two Questions:
1. Do you support the Motion to Vacate?
2. Who should be Speaker:
e. Johnson (LA)
— Congressman Andy Ogles (@AndyOgles) October 3, 2023
According to CBS News, McCarthy told Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries Tuesday morning that he didn’t think he would have to rely on Democrat votes to retain the speakership.
Most Democrats may not be inclined to help McCarthy. At a caucus meeting Tuesday morning, Jeffries played a clip from the speaker’s appearance Sunday on “Face the Nation,” in which he blamed Democrats for nearly shutting down the government. In fact, more Democrats than Republicans voted for to the bill to extend government funding for 45 days.
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal said her party would be unanimous in voting against McCarthy.
“We are following our leader, and we are not saving Kevin McCarthy,” she said.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said he thinks there will be a direct vote on the motion around 2 p.m.
In a statement Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis decried what he called the “failure theater” happening in Washington D.C.
DESANTIS rips the “failure theater” happening among DC Republicans:
“I opposed McCarthy when it wasn’t cool years ago and he’s really somebody that Donald Trump has backed and put into that position. I think they’ve not delivered results…The contrast between Florida delivering… pic.twitter.com/aQaIJZwmeE
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 3, 2023
Gaetz argued passionately in favor of his motion to vacate the Speaker’s seat.
.@SpeakerMcCarthy never intended to move onto single-subject appropriations bills until we FORCED him to!
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 3, 2023
Washington must change. We must put the House of Representatives on a better course.@SpeakerMcCarthy has failed to take a stand where it matters. So if he won’t, I will.#MotionToVacate pic.twitter.com/hTW2e6bxtW
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 3, 2023
"OH BOO ALL YOU WANT!"@RepMattGaetz Going Off On The Swamp
"And when it comes to how those raise money, I take no lecture on asking Patriotic Americans to weigh in and contribute to this fight from those who would grovel and bend knee for the lobbyists and special interests… pic.twitter.com/90sHSX4rAk
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) October 3, 2023
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 3, 2023
The Motion to table the vote on the removal Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House was defeated.
The motion has received enough GOP votes to vacate the Speaker’s seat:
1. Rep. Burchett (Texas)
2. Rep. Buck (Colo.)
3. Rep Biggs (Ariz.)
4. Rep. Crane (Ariz.)
5. Rep. Gaetz (Fla.)
6. Rep. Good (Va.)
7. Rep. Mace (S.C.)
8. Rep. Rosendale (Mont.)
The final vote was 116 to 210 in favor of ousting McCarthy. The Speaker’s seat is now officially vacant.
McCarthy announced Tuesday night that he won’t seek to reclaim his post as House speaker.
“I will not run for speaker again. I’ll have the [Republican] conference pick somebody else,” he told reporters following a closed-door meeting with GOP lawmakers.